The Bar Standards Board is to launch a ‘professional statement’ which, like the ‘competence statement’ being developed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, will attempt to describe the knowledge and skills barristers should possess at the point of qualification.
Consumers and businesses believe that drafting “legally accurate and effective” documents is a more important quality of a competent solicitor than following professional rules, a major study has found.
Professor Avrom Sherr, one of the country’s leading legal academics, has said that “nobody listens to the Law Society” since it lost its regulatory role.
Legal education providers have warned that the possible introduction of a new, centralised assessment test for all would-be solicitors by the Solicitors Regulation Authority could be “a step back”.
Statutory guidance that requires legal regulators to move away from assuming would-be lawyers have to spend a certain amount of time training before they qualify was published yesterday by the Legal Services Board.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority is looking at whether to abolish all of the prescriptive requirements around continuing professional development (CPD) and leave it to solicitors and their firms to decide how best to ensure their continuing competence.
Let’s not underestimate the pace of change in the legal regulatory landscape over the past couple of years. Developments have been unprecedented, relentless and, at times, frustrating. 2014 is set to be another busy year for compliance officers with yet more regulatory upheaval. And it all kicks off in January with a review of the compliance officer for finance and administration (COFA) role.
Much of the red tape around the training of solicitors would be swept away if proposals before the Solicitors Regulation Authority are adopted, including abandoning a ceiling on the number of trainees firms are allowed to take on.
The ex-City lawyer chairman of the Solicitors Regulation Authority has questioned the recruitment methods of City law firms in making university students decide to become commercial lawyers so early on in their legal careers.
Would-be solicitors may be able to design their own routes to qualification – which need not involve a degree, legal practice course or training contract – under a blueprint for radical reform of education and training published today by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.